Once upon a time, a boy named Bart wanted to hold the first Northern California Spring Gathering at Treasure Island. The island, owned by the US Navy, provided a picnic area and a scenic view of downtown San Francisco. Unfortunately, the idea was shot down days before the picnic could take place. The US Navy never recieved Bart's permit request. Fortunately, days later, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom offered to pay for the RSVP permit fees. The picnic is still happening, but at a later date.

But what did the cosplayers who had intended to go do that weekend? Once the news broke on cosplay.com and livejournal, the cosplayers decided to have an impromptu last minute gathering in Japan Town.

I flew in for this event. Luckily, my flight was free. Yet, it did give me an oppurtunity to hang out with friends I don't get to see often. Mind you, at this point, I had not visited the Bay Area since October 2007.

It was great to set foot in Japan Town once again. Tom, Claudine, and I first went fabric shopping in the Mission District. Then we went to downtown San Francisco to shop at the Virgin Megastore. Finally, we took a bus that took us straight to Japan Town.

Japan Town also had an event going on - The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. I had worked publicity for this event last year. I was thrilled that the event was showing Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro later that evening in the peace plaza. Not to mention, Tom and I were cosplaying Lupin III.

For the most part, it was wandering through Japan Town with a few friends of our's - Mike, Dominic, and Patrick. We sat and shared convention horror stories.

As far as cosplayers, there was not much going on. It didn't seem much like a gathering, but just clumps of ninjas (Naruto was the main staple) doing their own thing. Yet, it was still nice to see friends again.

And go Omnomnom on the food at Japan Town. We had lunch at On the Bridge, desert at Sophie's Crepes, and for dinner, because we were so Japan-ed out, milkshakes at Denny's.

To conclude the evening, we watched Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro out in the Peace Plaza. Tom and I had our pictures taken by the marketing director of the film festival. It felt surreal because we knew this was not a convention. Yet, Japan Town had quite a few cosplayers and now, we were watching a classic animated movie. It felt surreal like Japan Town Anime Faire (JTAF) was happening again.

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